heart made of shells in the sand
Hortonworks reported a strong third-quarter, renewing customer love. PHOTO: Alex Koch

Cloudera, MapR and the greater Hadoop ecosystem can all breathe a sigh of relief. 

Santa Clara, Calif.-based big data cruncher Hortonworks is back on track after a rough quarter, beating expectations, closing a record number of deals and growing commercial clients to more than 1,000. 

The third quarter results, released yesterday, boosted the company's stock, which was up about 21 percent from the closing price yesterday by early afternoon today.

Making Enterprise Inroads

As the only publicly traded Hadoop vendor, many see Hortonworks as a bellwether. So when its revenues missed expectations three months ago, its shares plunged 27 percent in 24 hours and prompted many to question the company's future.

Yesterday CEO Rob Bearden CEO reassured investors, explaining that Hortonworks had gained traction in 60 percent of the Fortune 100. It's also effectively penetrating select verticals, including telecommunications and media, retail and financial services.

Translation: Mainstream companies, including many launched pre-internet, are getting busy with big data and spending money to do it. 

Earlier this year Gartner analyst Merv Adrian tweeted that almost half of the companies using Hadoop were using the open source version that is free and isn't supported by any of the primary vendors (they each have their unique distributions). Bearden seemed to counter that perception in his announcement yesterday.

Selling to the C-Suite

Bearden's said the company is now selling into the C-suite, primarily CMOs, and suggested enterprises are using Hadoop to do things beyond off-loading data into data lakes where it is cheaper to store. 

Hortonworks also showed some interesting traction in its Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF) business, an Internet of Everything engine (IoE) for data in motion, and its Hortonworks Connected Data Platform, which connects data at rest from Hortonworks Hadoop-based Data Platform  with HDF, allowing business to glean insights across the entire data lifecycle.

Needless to say, this is big for Hortonworks as well as for analytics providers who bet their business on big data.

Hortonworks numbers suggest Fortune 100 companies not only still believe in data, but are betting on it with real money —  not just participating in free trials as they once were.